The old axiom “we dig our graves with our teeth” couldn’t be further from the truth! The modern western diet differs tremendously from that of our ancestors. Following the industrial revolution and through the use of new agricultural techniques, the foods consumed in the average everyday diet in countries like Western Europe, the U.S., and some other industrialized nations are poor in quality and low in nutritional value. Most Westerners are stuck on a Standard American Diet (SAD), consuming high quantities of toxic, growth hormone, GMO, antibiotic, pesticide laced conventional meats and commercial dairy, processed foods, refined grains, cereals, and oils, refined white flour, sugar, and table salt, coffee, sugary soft drinks, artificial sweeteners (NutraSweet, Equal, and aspartame), and alcohol, compounded with prescription and recreational drugs, all of which are HIGHLY acid forming in the body.
Most of these are NOT real foods. They are highly over-processed and laden with chemicals that keep you addicted and make your body sick. Not surprisingly, a lot of these food choices are recommended by influential authorities as part of the daily food pyramid. While a lot of these foods, like meat, dairy, and certain grains can be very healthy in the right proportions, and quality, they become damaged, indigestible, more acidic, and disease promoting through improper preparation and care, neglectful practices, greed, and intense processing. Overall the scale tips far towards the acidic disease promoting side.
In her extensive literature review found in The Acid-Alkaline Imbalance: The Effects, Testing and Treatment, Marie-Andree Gelinas, Doctor of Chiropractic and Nutritional Counselor, concluded that “a long-term poor diet filled with acid-forming foods can cause acidosis, and that there is great experimental evidence to support that even mild degrees of acidosis induces numerous health problems.”
Susan E. Brown, medical anthropologist, certified nutritionist, clinician, researcher, and co-author of The Acid Alkaline Food Guide expresses “By FAR the most common form of acid-alkaline imbalance, chronic low grade metabolic acidosis, is caused by a persistent buildup or excess metabolic acids within the body. This process tends to occur with age as kidneys weaken, but can be created in even the very young by our dietary patterns. These dietary patterns involve the overconsumption of acid forming foods such as protein, grains, sugar, refined foods, coffee, and alcohol, and the under consumption of alkaline forming fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. As a result of these patterns, our biochemistry labors under a slight yet chronic acid tilt that produces a fertile breeding ground for a variety of health problems.”
Alkaline forming fruits and vegetables as well as healthy, cell forming, hormone manufacturing, energy producing fats are very limited or non-existent in the Standard American Diet “SAD”. The name suits this type of acid forming inflammatory diet perfectly. For most people, the intake of alkaline forming foods like good-old fruits and vegetables is far too low, grossly disproportionate to acid forming food choices. The minute intake of alkaline forming foods, especially in the U.S., does not provide the balance needed to keep pH levels in a healthy range and promote a disease-free life.
According to Christopher Vasey, a naturopath specializing in detoxification, and author of The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health: Restore your Health by Creating pH Balance in your Diet, pH levels can be balanced by changing your diet. We can decrease internal acidification by reducing “the amount of acids entering the body… and adjusting the diet with higher intake of alkaline foods” in order to regain health. Even if you don’t take out a lot of the acidic forming foods, just adding more alkaline forming foods can make a dramatic shift in your overall pH balancing equation!
Western diets can be a recipe for self-destruction. High intake levels of acid-forming, damaged foods, along with a low intake of alkaline-forming foods, are a LETHAL combination.
An article published in Clinical Nutrition (Adeva et al. 2011) emphasized that Western diets lacking in fruits and vegetables, and containing excessive (especially unclean) animal products and other unhealthy food choices generate an accumulation of acids, causing diet-derived metabolic acidosis at various levels. An acidic diet generates acidosis which harms kidney function, predisposing people for kidney stones and eventually chronic kidney failure. Additionally, calcium and other minerals that support bone, teeth, muscle and organ health are used to buffer the excess acidity inducing skeletal problems. This condition severely increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, other cardiovascular disorders, and obesity.
When acid levels are highly disproportionate, loosing those extra pounds becomes a DAUNTING task and nearly impossible as your organs instinctually use body fat to protect themselves from the acid toxic waste!
Keep in mind that the prevalence of health problems and chronic diseases in the US is devastating at all levels. Yet the most appalling fact is that besides trusting in the often-deceptive powers of authority, basically all of these conditions are attributable to unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, and cancer, among many others, are all highly PREVENTABLE! At the same time, this is a relieving fact for individuals willing to lead a more conscious, proactive lifestyle as opposed to reacting when the disease materializes.